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Bill Belichick mum on future as Patriots end regular season with loss to Jets

Bill Belichick's 24th season in New England came to an official end on Sunday following a 17-3 defeat to the New York Jets -- a game thought to be possibly his final one as Patriots head coach.

Belichick declined to speak about his future during his postgame news conference.

"As far as the future goes, I'll sit down with Robert (Kraft), as I do every year at some point at the end of the season, and we will talk about things as we always do -- I'm sure that will happen," Belichick told reporters as part of his opening statement. "But that's really about all I have to say about that right now because there's nothing else to talk about."

Asked about if there was any different feeling walking off the field at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, the future Hall of Fame coach wasn't inclined to give any hints.

"Disappointed about the way the game turned out, sure," Belichick said. "We'll leave it at that."

Nor did he budge when asked if he expected to be the Patriots coach in 2024.

"Just disappointed in the way the game finished," Belichick answered. 

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that Belichick is set to meet with team owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft following the end of the regular season, and an outright firing is considered unlikely. Belichick could potentially return for another season or the two sides could possibly decide to mutually part ways, per Rapoport. 

Sunday was a fitting end to what has been a frustrating season in New England, especially for Belichick's typical competitive standard.

Starting quarterback Bailey Zappe saw a season-low 88 passing yards (12 of 30) during what was a snowy affair in Foxborough. Despite the Patriots recovering a fumble after Zappe threw his first interception of the game in the fourth quarter, which gave the Pats hope in a one-score game with less than three minutes to play, the second-year quarterback gave the ball away on his next throw two plays later. 

In the end, the Patriots offense mustered just 115 total yards while failing to score a touchdown for the fifth time this season (fourth instance where they were held to three points or fewer). The loss also ended New England's 15-game winning streak against the Jets. 

New England's offensive woes have been the most consistent part of Belichick's 24th season as head coach. It featured Mac Jones' benching in Week 12, and while Zappe was able to earn just as many wins in half as many starts down the stretch, the Patriots were an outright failure under center in 2024. Considering how Belichick was still able to produce a solid defense that ranked top 15 in yards (304.6) and points allowed (21.5) per game entering Week 18, what could have been is a mere afterthought at this point. 

Instead, after producing his lowest win total (4-13) in 24 years and failing to reach the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time in New England, Belichick concluded Sunday's press conference compelled enough to affirm his love for the job is still there, but whether or not he continues to grace the sidelines for the Patriots remains to be seen. 

"I enjoy coaching," Belichick said. "I like coaching the team, I like preparing the team, game-planning, coaching on Sundays. But the results weren't good and none of us are happy with those."

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